Turkish military mulls 3-tier plan to liberate al-Bab

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is chalking out a three-tier strategy to liberate the north Syrian town of al-Bab from Daesh terrorists, claimed the Turkish daily, Sabah.

According to information obtained by the daily, the Turkish military will first surround the town and force a siege. Next, in cooperation with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Turkish troops will cut off Daesh's supply routes around the town.

Finally, having surrounded the city and cutting off Daesh supply routes, the Turkish military will hit the terrorist group's strategic positions in al-Bab, using intelligence from inside the town.

The TSK has reportedly built four military posts which will serve as points to deliver supplies to its troops.

The Turkish military-backed FSA began the siege of al-Bab several weeks ago. Despite the fact that the Operation Euphrates Shield forces have for a while controlled the two main roads linking al-Bab to Manbij and Aleppo, and an al-Bab hospital used by Daesh as a weapons storage, the city as a whole remains yet to be liberated.

Turkish officials have repeatedly clarified that the liberation of al-Bab was taking longer due to the army's effort to prevent civilian injuries, which requires delicate maneuvers.

"There are about 30,000 civilians living in the city thus we have been very careful not to cause any civilian casualties. That is why our soldiers are being very careful when chasing Daesh targets and we have had some casualties of our own," an official recently told Daily Sabah.

Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched on Aug. 24 last year to clear out Daesh terrorists and ensure security along Turkey's southeastern and eastern borders, is likely to continue after the liberation of al-Bab.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has already asserted that the Turkish military, in cooperation with the FSA, will march toward Manbij and Afrin which are held by the outlawed PKK's Syrian offshoot, the People's Protection Units (YPG).

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